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Opening Keynote

Ken-Staff-Shot-2Ken Steele is Canada’s leading higher education monitor and futurist, trusted by more than 24,000 daily subscribers and bringing his comprehensive perspective to a broad range of audiences hundreds of times a year – from faculty and instructors, boards and senior administration, to information technology staff, concerned parents, and Canada’ s most powerful corporate CEOs.





Closing Keynote

JaimeLealJaime Leal – Entrepreneur and business owner with more than 20 years of experience as a speaker in the field of change. He’s a former paramedic, television host and radio broadcaster; has volunteered as a humanitarian relief worker in countries devastated by natural disasters and is a kidnapping survivor.




Monday Night Gala

StevePattersonPictureSTEVE PATTERSON has been a professional headliner since 1997 and has taped numerous national television specials in the past decade including four Just For Laughs galas. His performance in 2010 earned him a Gemini nomination and caused host Steve Martin afterwards to exclaim “If I’d have known he was going to be THAT good, I would have cancelled him.” Following that performance, Patterson was name Best Male Stand-up Comedian at the 2011 and 2013 Canadian Comedy awards and most recently has been nominated for the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards as Host on HGTV’s “I Wrecked My House”. Steve’s nationally toured and award nominated theatre show entitled “This is Not Debatable” is now available on itunes and his “Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send” is due out in the fall of 2016. Visit stevepatterson.ca for more details.


Dave Hemstad_headshotDAVE HEMSTAD is an award-winning comedian who began performing on national television in 2002. In addition to his own half hour Comedy Now Special on CTV and his Gala appearance at Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival he has taped appearances for both the Halifax and Winnipeg Comedy Festivals for CBC. Dave has many acting credits to his name including having starred in the Showcase comedy series Almost Heroes. Dave is currently a regular on CBC’s smash hit The Debaters for both television and radio. In addition to his numerous international appearances, Dave is proud to have performed in every province AND territory in Canada


headshot-ronsparks-300dpiRON SPARKS is best known for starring in MuchMusic’s Video on Trial and its spin-offs, has many credits as a writer (22 Minutes, Little Mosque), actor (NBC’s The Firm, Medium Raw) and producer (Meet the Family, This Movie Sucks!). He’s won the Tim Sims and a record 13 Canadian Comedy Awards, including Best Male Stand-up (2012). Stand-up credits include NBC’s Last Comic Standing, CBC’s Halifax & Winnipeg Comedy Festivals, Just For Laughs (Toronto Homegrown Champion), and his own multi-award winning CTV Comedy Now! special. On the radio his Newsdesk with Ron Sparks aired weekly on 102.1 The Edge and he’s a regular on CBC’s Debaters, which he also writes for.